At upcoming meeting in New York, Israeli PM set to raise proposal for canceling or amending historic 2015 accord, according to TV report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to present US President Donald Trump in their meeting Monday on the sidelines of the 72nd annual session of the United Nations General Assembly with a proposal for rolling back the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran signed by the Obama administration.
According to a Channel 2 report Saturday, Netanyahu is preparing a specific formula for either scrapping the historic deal or amending it.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu said Israel wanted to see the two-year-old deal — which offered Iran relief from punishing sanctions in exchange for having it roll back its nuclear program — either amended or canceled altogether.
“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires on Tuesday during a trip to Latin America.
Netanyahu rejected recent reports claiming that Israel and Saudi Arabia were no longer interested in scrapping the landmark deal. Reuters reported Tuesday that US officials familiar with discussions about the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), said Israel and Saudi Arabia would rather the pact remain intact.
Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday in New York, a day before the Israeli leader is to give his annual address before the General Assembly. Netanyahu indicated on Friday that his speech will focus on the stance that Israel would not tolerate an Iranian presence on its northern border with Syria, now in its seventh year of a brutal civil war.
Trump is expected to give his first speech before the UN body on the same day.
The Netanyahu-Trump meeting will be held amid growing speculation that the US president will declare Iran not to be in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Trump is due to decide before October 15 whether Iran has breached the agreement, and critics fear he may abandon the accord altogether.
A US pullout would effectively bring the agreement to an end.
The meeting will be the two leaders’ fourth together since Trump assumed office. The two met once in February when the Israeli premier visited the White House, and twice in May when the American president traveled to the region, which included a two-day stop in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Washington on Thursday waived nuclear-related sanctions on Iran but slapped new ones on 11 companies and individuals accused of engaging in cyber attacks against US banks.
During the 2016 US presidential campaign, Trump called the nuclear accord “the worst deal ever” and vowed to tear it up upon taking office. Trump has since moderated his tone, although he said last month Iran is “not in compliance with the agreement” and said he did not believe he would again declare Iran to be abiding by the deal come October.
Israel has been a vocal opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, often clashing with the Obama administration in the lead-up to the signing of the controversial accord and its aftermath.